Friday, July 1, 2011

The Burden of Proof

For a perfectly lucid analysis of why the case against DSK is unlikely to proceed if the NY Times report of new evidence is true, see here.

The question now becomes what will become of DSK's political career if he walks. And I will answer this to the best of my ability this morning on CNBC TV between the hours of 11 and 12 this morning. Six weeks ago, I confidently predicted that DSK's life in politics was over even if he was eventually acquitted. I'm no longer so sure of that. To be sure, he will not have been exonerated if the charges are dismissed, but the case will have imploded so quickly and dramatically that there is still time for him to get back into the Socialist primary. Of course a great deal of derogatory information about his sexual past, his recklessness (and even if it turns out that he paid for sex with the hotel maid, no one can deny that his behavior was reckless), and his great wealth is now a matter of lurid public record. Against all this, however, he can now present himself as a victim (of overzealous American justice, of a devious woman, or even of a possible conspiracy--where did the $100K the woman allegedly deposited in various bank accounts come from: it might have been a drug dealer boyfriend, but it might also have been some other source). Sarkozy is so unpopular, and the current field of potential rivals is so lackluster, that a revivified DSK may once again look like a savior. And yet, and yet ... it is hard to imagine a president of France trailing these casseroles behind him. A lot to ponder. Suggestions welcome.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

As you say Sir, its the casseroles that will count and surely sink him?

Far too much lurid detail has been splashed around for voters to elect someone who now surely resembles a French version of Berlusconi.

bernard said...

In the initial days, when commenters, but not you Art, on this blog had charged and judged DSK guilty on the basis of newspapers reports, I kept feebly trying to say that we should wait for the outcome of the trial.

Now, if the latest NYT report is correct, I will be convinced that DSK was indeed framed, likely by French intelligence. That the NY police finds no evidence of this is clearly no proof, as French intelligence has historically never shied away from doing these kinds of dirty tricks. Sarkozy surrounds himself with cops (Guéant etc...) and scores of "former" members of either Occident, Action Francaise or the Front National. These are people devoid of any principles who will stop at nothing against their political adversaries. Just a token example: the rumor conveniently circulating on M. Aubry's imaginary prooblem or her husband.

Returning to DSK, no one ever argued that he was not a womaniser, and that's no crime. So the net result of this dirty deed is to force him to resign from the IMF (Mrs Largarde must have a bitter taste in her mouth today), to deter him from being a presidential candidate who had the best chance of beating Sarkozy.

I would have to say at this stage that the time for wearing gloves is over. The conservatives have chosen to campaign in this way, fine. Let us hit harder. They want dirt, there is no shortage of dirt, starting with a former prime minister and his chief of staff.

Keir said...

Hard to believe, though, that this maid would invite searching inquiries into her past if she truly did lie about her amnesty declaration, run with gangsters and enjoy the influx of $100,000 into her bank account. But then, what did New York's mayor say? If he didn't want to be escorted through a throng of reporters in handcuffs- tired, dishevelled, unshaven and hungry- he shouldn't have done the crime? Looks like maybe he didn't do the crime. Looks like Bloomberg is not a fan of due process or any of the other little hallmarks laid down in our common law since 1215. Will he be apologising? I would be most surprised as my impression of American politicians is that they will say anything, go on TV to do anything, and disseminate obscene photos of themselves to all and sundry electronically and never apologise for their "mistakes" until enough people have been damaged by their irresponsibility.
And as for the American press! The New York Post headline referring to the man read "Frog!". I live just outside Dachau and to read such an obscene, derogatory title in the press of a civilised country strikes me as a return to the demagoguery of Der Stuermer. How can Americans allow this in this day and age?

Massilian said...

The big question remains : was she paid to lie ? If she just tried to take advantage of the situation (with the advise of a convict, the dammage done to DSK's image in the public opinion is beyond repair before the election in France, but if this ever proves to have been a set up, another brilliant conspiracy implemented by french intelligence officers, it will backfire and DSK might have his revenge but I still doubt he can savor it in the Elysée in 2012... Perhaps Matignon ?

meshplate said...

None of these elements challenge directly the accusations of rape, however they do undermine the credibility of the witness. In short, she might not be a credible witness, but that in itself does not disprove the rape charge. If the prosecution is now back peddling, it seems that they are more worried about this blowing up in their faces in the trial, which would have made them look incompetent. So, as I see it, we still don't know what happened in the hotel room, but the DA is more worried about his rep than anything else.

@Bernard, I think you are rushing to acquit just as fast as others may have rushed to convict.

Anonymous said...

The release of DSK shows that the justice system works, even though this is a huge embarrassment for the Manhattan D.A. In some countries, the D.A. would do anything to cover his ass and protect his reputation: railroad DSK, fudge or conceal evidence, cut a plea deal, etc. Not here, not today. The developments this morning July 1, 2011, simply mean that the Manhattan Prosecutor does not feel he can win a case with a victim / witness whose credibility and reputation will be successfully attacked by the defense based on new facts. There is absolutely no new evidence that DSK did or did not commit the assault. But the DA office's mandate is to win, and not to put the court through a long expensive battle they know it will lose. The French might interpret the release of DSK, and the likely dropping of the case, as a victory for DSK. But it is simply the same as a hung jury or a "not proved" verdict. "Innocent" is not a word anyone will use for DSK in the future, given the salacious revelations of his past conduct. Still, given French chauvenism, this fracas might give DSK a paradoxical political boost, if the French public decide he has been a martyr to "anglo-saxon" prejudice.

Cincinna said...

• DSK GOES FREE -NO BAIL
• CHARGES NOT DROPPED
• PASSPORT KEPT BY JUDGE
• CONSPIRACY THEORIES RUN WILD
• THE CREDIBILITY OF THE ACCUSER ON THE RAPE CHARGE HAS NOT BEEN DAMAGED. HER PERSONAL CHARACTER HAS BEEN DAMAGED
• ALL TALK
OF CONSPIRACY HERE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FRANCE OR SARKO'S RE-ELECTION
• NEW IMF CHIEF CHRISTINE LAGARDE IS FROM CHICAGO
• IT IS ABOUT THE IMF, INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL FINANCE, NWO

Cincinna said...

@Keir
Americans don't believe in a Cafeteria-Constitution.
The First Amendment guarantee of free speech and a free press protects us all.
In most cases, "frog" is used almost as a term of affection. Like a Southerner calling someone like me "Yankee"
Speech is just speech; we don't have the same weird hare crime laws in the US as in a PC obsessed Europe run amuck. We have laws against crimes, and we try them and punish them. Though crimes, speech crimes are scary, very Brave New World/ 1984, and anti-thetical to the American way.

Cincinna said...

The new revelations of Tristane Banon and the accounts of others have revealed to all that DSK is a sexual predator, and sex addict.
In a hypothetical where DSK returns to politics, what happens when he arracks another woman? Thus is a continued pattern if conduct that will continue to repeat if not admitted and treated.
Is the French Socialist Party willing to take that chance?
Are the French people ?

Lapinot said...

@ Anonymous 12:12PM

I disagree. Certainly it’s now not quite so bad as it might have been but it's still an appalling bloody shower. DSK has been paraded in public, vilified and condemned and there are those who will never believe that he is innocent, whatever happens, as you yourself say. That would happen to some extent anyway, but the system in which DSK has found himself doesn’t seem designed to mitigate the worst of it. This really isn’t a time for 'Not here. not today' jaw-jutting, or chauvinistic comments about French chauvinism.

And I’m not sure if the motives of the Manhattan D.A are necessarily as noble as you suggest. It’s awkward to admit now; it would be far more so for the defense to later discover that you hadn’t admitted it .

thisnameisinuse said...

'Speech is just speech'

Until anyone says anything even mildly critical of the the US flag, the US military, the US baked goods....

Lapinot said...

I typed this earlier but it seems to have vanished, so, once again, for your delight:

@ Anonymous 12:12PM

I disagree. Certainly it’s now not quite so bad as it might have been but it's still an appalling bloody shower. DSK has been paraded in public, vilified and condemned and there are those who will never believe that he is innocent, whatever happens, as you yourself say. That would happen to some extent anyway, but the system in which DSK has found himself doesn’t seem designed to mitigate the worst of it. This really isn’t a time for 'Not here. not today' jaw-jutting, or chauvinistic comments about French chauvinism.

And I’m not sure if the motives of the Manhattan D.A are necessarily as noble as you suggest. It’s awkward to admit now; it would be far more so for the defense to later discover that you hadn’t admitted it .